Sam D.


As a boy of 5, Sam concluded that he could do every possible math problem: that is, add any two numbers. After graduating from Cornell University cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Physics major and a Theater minor, he’s concluded that there are probably one or two problems he still has to learn. Following a stint in technology consulting, Sam decided research was where he needed to be, and he earned a PhD in Physics from Harvard University, studying contact between solid bodies and friction. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, studying learning in physical systems and machine learning applications in experimental science.

Sam has been teaching and mentoring students for over a decade, primarily in physics, mathematics, and improvisational theater. He’s worked with middle schoolers to graduate students and business professionals, including visiting students from China, France, and Israel. He received the Bok Center Teaching Excellence Award at Harvard in 2018, and had the 6th student highest SAT score improvement nationally with Ivy Insiders in 2010. 

In his spare time Sam enjoys slowly learning how to cook, rock climbing, and occasionally getting on stage and improvising.


Education & Qualifications
  • University of Pennsylvania, Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics
  • Harvard University, PhD in Physics
  • Cornell University, BA in Physics 
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • GRE
  • SAT